Calgary

Another unite the right group hopes to woo Red Deer

It's been almost a year since the NDP swept to victory in Alberta. Saturday in Red Deer small 'c' conservatives are meeting to discuss how to stop it from happening again.

Several groups exist for the same purpose: to defeat the governing NDP

Another effort to unite the right takes place this weekend in Red Deer. (CBC)

It's been almost a year since the NDP swept to victory in Alberta.

Saturday in Red Deer small 'c' conservatives are meeting to discuss how to stop it from happening again.

On the agenda, a merger of the Tory and Wildrose parties. But it may not be as easy as some might think.

Like a lot of conservatives in Alberta, Prem Singh says she's been card-carrying member of both the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties.

These days she's neither, but she hopes to change that.

Singh is part of "Alberta Can't Wait," one of a number of unite-the-right groups that has popped up in recent months.

Unite the right group meets up in Red Deer

5 years ago
3:39
Prem Singh hopes her group will be the one 3:39

"The general consensus that I'm hearing, that we are hearing, is that it's time for us to put our egos and emotions aside," Singh said.

"Alberta is more important than any political party … and so we're coming together as a family reunion per se."

Key figures missing

But the "reunion" in Red Deer will be missing a couple of key figures.

Conservative interim leader Ric McIver and Wildrose leader Brian Jean were both invited to speak at the event, but organizers say they never even got a response.

Calgary pollster Janet Brown says there are some problems with unification.

Pollster Janet Brown says voters will need time to warm up to a new, united right-wing party. (Supplied)

"The premise behind these unite the right movements is that the right needs to unite otherwise they're never going to be able to defeat the NDP in the next election. The problem with that logic is the two right-wing political parties — the Wildrose and the PCs — are still holding out hope that they can defeat the NDP the next time out without having to compromise their party brand and merge," Brown said.

Lead time needed

She says time is running out for a unified party to reach out to undecided voters.

"The unite the right movement probably has about a year to get their act together, because then we're two years out from the next election and it would be very difficult for a new political entity to solidify themselves, to make Albertans understand who they are."

For now, the two parties appear to be in no hurry to come together and resolve the differences that split them up in the first place.

But this weekend, unite the right organizers hope they can nudge them in that direction.

With files from Allison Dempster

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